For the love of all that is holy I can't believe I'm going to write a blog post about PE. Physical Education. It should be the no brainer at school, right? I mean really you show up, you dress and you get an A. Maybe a B if you don't study for the written exam on the rules of bowling.
Rachel currently has four core subjects that are required for high school graduation. Eng. Lit, Geometry, Chemistry/Physics(combo class that is less intense than straight Chem or Physics) and PE. She also has two electives (Creative Writing and Art 1), and her Study Skills class which is taught by her special education teacher. Study Skills is per her IEP and serves multiple functions. Pre-teaching and/or Re-teaching any significant concepts from her core classes as well as a "study-hall" of sorts where she gets extra time to complete any work she may have. She also learns life skills to improve her executive functioning, as well as resume writing, interviewing, etc. It's an important component to her day and her special education teacher this year is just as amazing as her previous ones have been.
The school year is going about as smoothly as it usually does. And by smoothly I mean.... bumpy like a dune buggy course in the woods. We aren't facing any real new issues. Rachel is as smart as they come. She's passing her Chemistry class with a 96% without studying for any exams or quizzes. She is finding great success in her Eng. Lit class as well. She's an avid reader, understands complex text, and characters and is therefore having great success in this class. Geometry is challenging but not out of the realm of her ability in the least. She may actually be doing better in this class than any other math class she's ever had. We struggle with the usual missed homework assignments on a weekly basis so she's always in catch up mode but getting it done. It's incredibly frustrating because her grade would be an easy A if she just did the work and turned it in in a timely manner. She's her own worst enemy in this arena. She loves her Art and Creative Writing classes. These are her true loves in life. Her ability to sketch never ceases to amaze me, and her imagination for writing is equally amazing. She also has the incredible ability to write about her feelings that moves me like few others. Her words are powerful. She has shared some very deep feelings that have been an eye opening, yet heartbreaking look into her heart and mind in relation to her diagnoses. We all hope that from this class she will continue to write and express herself for the same reason we all write here at Share... it's cathartic.
So that leaves PE. The one source of stress for everyone involved. And when I say stress I mean *stress*. Rachel isn't ever going to be a star athlete, but she has some skill, can run far and fast and can hold her own in a swimming pool (she swam swim team for 6 years). She doesn't dislike PE because of a lack of physical ability. She just hates it and has absolutely no desire to do it. So, she quit doing it. Our high school requires all sophomores to take swim class in conjunction with their PE class. 4 weeks in the pool, 4 weeks in the gym alternating for the entire semester. Our students are also required to change for PE (and swim of course). Rachel hates this part of the process as well and will avoid it at all costs. The school nurse knows Rachel very well and typically gets a visit 2 times a week during 6th period. Guess what class she has 6th period? Yep, PE. Another obstacle we deal with.... Rachel will bring her gym clothes home about every 2 weeks, only after I remind her to do so, so that she can take in clean clothes. Once they come home, she conveniently "forgets" them here and thus gets to sit that day out. And don't even get me started on the number of times she has lost her gym clothes and shoes in the last two years (forget about the 3 years of middle school... I lost count). This year alone we're on outfit #3, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 beach towels and 2 swimming suits. I think my head might explode if she loses one more item! Because of all the missed classes for all the various reasons listed above Rachel is failing PE. She currently has a 57%. Who fails PE?!?! The one class that should be boosting her GPA for graduation with very little effort is going to be the one class that totally screws up her GPA. If I had it my way she would not take PE at all. But it's a requirement for graduation so deal with this mess we must.
I have an email out to her special ed teacher to discuss options to improve this situation. If for no other reason than my sanity. Not to mention how much this class has cost me in shoes and clothing over the last five years and we still have 2 years of HS left. If I survive this life I better have earned the best Cabana in heaven some day! With a hot cabana boy too!
Oh Karri.....I don't remember gym class being such a big deal?? I know that i took it for 2/4 years of HS , and rarely changed anything but my shoes...most of the time we did laps around the gym or played HORSE under an extra hoop. Granted I went to a very small rural high school but good grief. I hope that you can retain your sanity for the remainder of gym, and that Rachel gets some help with her "memory skills."
Love and Hugs
I detested gym class. It was horrible for all the reasons you mentioned (changing in a locker room full of other girls, showering, being active, ugh!) But I did it because, like you said, it's a requirement.
Olivia, like Rachel (and me) hates gym class too. Her reason is because she's not very coordinated and she hates to do things she doesn't do well. So I sort of know your struggle, even though we're only in third grade gym around here. Our gym teacher has actually asked Alyssa if she has any tips to get her sister to participate in class. Ha!
I wish I had advice for you. Alas, I guess I just wanted you to know you're not alone in your struggle.
Sending you hugs and love,
Oh gosh, this has to be beyond frustrating. It's PE and it's cost you $ (and some sanity). When I was in CA, we had to have 2 years or if one was an athlete, one would always have PE and it was usually 6th Hour for away games and practice. In AZ, students only have to have a year or a semester if their district does block scheduling. It also seems to be offered in summer school, so that students can have more room in their schedules for electives or other classes. I'm guessing her school doesn't offer it in summer school? Urgh, so frustrating! Hoping the Spec Ed teacher will have a idea or two or perhaps an alternative?
ugghh...I hated P.E. too for all the same reasons and was happy to be done with it. I hope her special ed teacher is able to help you come up with a plan that works. NIcki
I really think Jadon is the male version on her. PEven has been a huge fight since middle school started. He hates dressing out and I have bought two people uniform already. And we are only 9 weeks in. At this point I'm at a loss of what to do I can't follow him to PE and make him dress out. If you find something that works please share the secret.
The dreaded PE....We avoided this whole topic in middle school for E with the type of school he's in. They do PE, but there's no locker room, no changing. We will have some additions to make to his IEP come high school when he HAS to take it at least his freshan year (sophomores aren't required to take it if they're in sports for two seasons). We already started laying the groundwork in his transition meeting the PE teacher in 5th grade - ideas like putting the required PE t-shirt on over his own clothes rather than changing completely. Not ideal, but something of a solution. Also, timing of the class - likely first class of the day so he could go to school in his PE clothes, or last period of the day so he could come home in them and avoid at least one session in the locker room.
Hopefully the special ed teacher will have some answers, suggestions, and help for you!
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